DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     February 26-28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 40


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    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

          Today she begins a series on Lent, zeroing in first and foremost on the most damaging cancer that can attack us; one that is not only fatal but immortally fatal: Mortal Sin. She laments how so few of our younger Catholics have been truly educated as to how serious Mortal Sin is and harkons back to what God has said, reminding all they are not something the Almighty suggests, but commands in her column, REMEMBER MORTAL SIN?

          Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


          I couldnít tell you the last time I heard a priest from the pulpit or elsewhere give a teaching on this subject. It has been MANY years.

          It is as though there is FEAR of scaring people or FEAR of OFFENDING someone by this teaching. And yet, mortal sin is a reality. Hell is a reality. Jesus spoke of hell in Scripture. And what sends souls to hell is UNREPENTANT mortal sin, that is, mortal sin that has not been told in confession or forgiven by an act of PERFECT CONTRITION when one is not able to get to confession. (Perfect contrition is being sorry ABOVE ALL because we have offended God, Who is All Good, not because we will be punished.)

          Mortal sin is THE reason why Jesus went through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Mortal sin is what can separate a soul from God forever.

          Mortal sin is saying "NO!" to God in a serious matter. Mortal means "deadly." You see, when God gave us the Ten Commandments, He wasnít kidding. The Ten Commandments are exactly that - COMMAND - MENTS. God did not call them SUGGESTIONS.

          Contrary to what Ted Turner said recently, the Ten Commandments are NOT out of date. (By the way, Ted Turner, is far from being God, therefore, he certainly does not have wisdom equal to or superior to God.)

          God is unchanging, eternal. Human nature, also, has not changed since Adam and Eve. If we are something other than human, then what other species have we become?

          We are in the season of Lent. This is the time for us to take an honest look at ourselves and our relationship to God. What are the obstacles in our lives that are keeping us from loving God as we should.

          Certainly, mortal sin is what we must be concerned about first and foremost, for it is the worst obstacle to our salvation.

          We have almost two generations of young people that have not been adequately taught their faith. For them, mostly, I wish to "reteach" how one can tell IF they have committed serious or mortal sin. These are the criteria and if even one is missing, no mortal sin has been committed.

  • 1) the thought, word, deed or omission MUST BE SERIOUS;

  • 2) one must know AT THE TIME OF THE ACT that it is serious;

  • 3) one must give FULL CONSENT of the will to the act.

          A good examination of conscience book is a great aid in helping people know what sins are serious and what are less serious. (No sin should be taken lightly as every sin is an offense against God.) If you donít have one, e-mail ne at Srmarylucy@aol.com. I have a bunch of them.

          Jesus said: "If you love Me, keep My Commandments." During this Lent, therefore, it is necessary for us to root out any mortal sins in our lives, if there are any. If not, then we should take an honest look at what venial sins we are committing. Thatís the topic for next week. Stay tuned and meanwhile, please be thinking about making an honest and good confession before Easter.

          God bless you!

February 26-28, 1999       volume 10, no. 40


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